CPEC: PM Imran Khan, Chinese President Xi Jinping discuss strengthening of bilateral ties
PM Imran Khan, who is on his first official visit to China after assuming charge as Pakistan’s prime minister, met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing today.
The meeting between the heads of the states took place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. High-level delegations from both the sides were also in attendance.
The two sides discussed strengthening of bilateral relations and matters of mutual regional and international interests, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. They also reviewed all the aspects of Pakistan-China strategic partnership.
PM Imran Khan thanked President Xi Jinping for extending warm hospitality to him upon arrival.
Praising China's progress, PM Imran Khan said President Xi Jinping's vision and leadership are exemplary and China's phenomenal achievements are worth emulating. He further said he had come to China to learn.
“My party has only been in power for two months. Unfortunately we have inherited a very difficult economic situation,” PM Imran said, as quoted by Reuters."
“Countries go in cycles. They have their high points, they have their low points. Unfortunately, our country is going through a low point at the moment with two very big deficits, a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit. And so we, as I’ve said, have come to learn.”
President Xi Jinping told the Pakistani PM Imran Khan that he highly valued the two countries' relations, reaffirming they were “all-weather friends".
President Xi Jinping said: “I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations and am willing to work together with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era of China-Pakistan destiny.”
According to sources: $1.5 billion are expected to be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan, while Pakistan Railways may also be included in the package.
The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, told Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a separate meeting that China would not let Pakistan down.
"The Chinese side will continue to provide support and help to the best of its ability for Pakistan´s economic and social development and national construction," China´s Foreign Ministry cited Wang as saying, without giving details.
PM Imran Khan reached China on Thursday night, where he was welcomed by Chinese Transport Minister and Ambassador to Pakistan, Li Xiaopeng and Yao Jing, respectively, at the Beijing Capital International Airport.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, and Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid are accompanying the premier. Abdul Razak Dawood, the adviser to Imran Khan on commerce, textiles, industries production and investment, and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal are also with the Imran Khan on his China visit.
On November 3 (Tomorrow), PM Imran Khan will visit the Monument to the People's Heroes at Beijing's Tiananmen Square and also meet the chairman of the National People's Congress.
He will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang the same day, when the two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements.
On November 4, the PM Imran Khan will speak at the Central Party School before leaving for Shanghai to participate in the First China International Import Expo. The premier will be a keynote speaker at the inauguration of the expo, and among 18 heads of state and government who will be attending the expo.
"More than 2,800 companies from 130 countries and regions, and 160,000 buyers from over 80,000 Chinese and foreign companies will participate in the expo".